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Apologies if this has been covered, but I haven't found any posts describing the same issue... I have been a longtime lurker, finally posting a question of my own.

I have a 2006 with almost 30k. She is marvellous and I love her. No problems up to now. I have adhered to the maintanence schedule and had the drive shaft recall performed a few months ago.
I have read this thread: http://www.priusonline.com/viewtopic.php?p=85590, as well as many others, and my issue seems to be different. It is not a whistle and it is a distinct change from the previous noises of the coolant storage pump to which I was accustomed. There was no apparent catalyst for the change in sound, which started only a week ago. The new sound is cyclical in nature, though I have not timed it yet. It seems to repeat for about four seconds every fifteen seconds or so. It sounds similar to the sound when you have the brakes applied and allow the vehicle to creep--that low, *errrr* kind of sound. I first noticed it when I left a passenger in the vehicle while I ran inside a store. It occurred repeatedly while I was inside and he thought it was coming from outside the car, as it was a new noise...The same sound happens after shut down and I have returned to the car after an hour or so and it is still emmitting the sound...that is why it seems worrisome to me...
Please advise as to other info I might be able to share that would of use in diagnosing this sound... I trust the diagnoses here more than my dealer, so before I call them I hope for your insights! Thanks!
Pri in Texas
 

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The 'errr' sound is the brake hydraulic accumulator pump. It is a normal sound, but your examples sound a bit too frequent to be normal. You could have an internal slow leak causing a slow loss of pressure, but not to the extent that the pump can't keep up, so it's still safe.
The brake system should be able to maintain accumulator pressure for a very long time when not being used.
 
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